O’Brien to miss world champs

Connacht’s promising rugby player Sean O’Brien has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming Ireland u-20 tour to New Zealand for the IRB Junior World Championship.

It is sad news for the young Galwegian who was also captain of the squad.

O’Brien was ruled out due to ongoing treatment for an ankle injury sustained during the RBS Six Nations.

The squad includes two other Connacht players, Rory Moloney of Buccaneers, and uncapped Ciaran Gaffney from Galwegians.

Ireland, in Pool B, kick off against France on June 2, Wales on June 6, and Fiji on June 10.

An Ghaeltacht and Gort rugby to the fore

An Ghaeltacht Rugbaí and Gort RFC in Galway have been announced as winners of this year’s Ulster Bank RugbyForce.

An Ghaeltacht Rugbaí was selected as the overall winner, receiving a package worth €10,000 and a training session with an IRFU coach and two Ireland rugby stars, while Gort RFC has been chosen as the Connacht winner, receiving a €5,000 support package.

Cian de Buitléar, secretary of An Ghaeltacht Rugbaí, says it is a “fantastic boost - not only for our club but for everyone in An Ghaeltacht”.

“Our rugby club is a small operation, but a big part of our community and this Ulster Bank RugbyForce support package will go a long way.”

Nessa Lahiff, club secretary of Gort RFC, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be named as the Connacht winner of Ulster Bank RugbyForce. It has been a struggle to develop our facilities over the past few years and we are really looking forward to using the support package and transforming our club for all our dedicated members and our community.”

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